Can a corporation qualify for the new housing HST rebate?
For many years now there has been provision in the Excise Tax Act for a rebate to purchasers of new-build residential units of GST/HST that would be due on the transaction. The total rebate calculation varies depending on each province’s respective portion and rebate provisions and the rebate is typically credited to the purchaser but assigned to the builder on closing. The rebate depends on the purchaser or his/her relatives occupying the unit. In the case of a corporate purchaser these qualifications are impossible to meet - a corporation is not a natural person who will occupy the unit and does not have relatives who may do so. Furthermore, Section 121(2)(a)(ii) of the Act refers to "individual" and not another term which may include corporation. In sum, corporations may not qualify for the New Housing GST/HST Rebate.
For corporations that purchase property for rental income purposes a rebate, the GST/HST New Residential Rental Property Rebate, may be obtained for part of the GST/HST paid on closing but this is rarely credited to the buyer at closing and GST/HST must be paid by the purchaser. An application for the rebate to the Canada Revenue Agency is typically made post-closing.
Between commercial entities, and depending on the agreement of purchase and sale provisions, GST/HST obligations may also be dealt with by an undertaking to self-assess and remit given by the purchaser who must also be an HST registrant.
Ask your lawyer or accountant for further information on HST applicability and potential rebates for your purchase.